Apple Lightning SD Card Camera Reader USB 3 Review for iPad Pro

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Apple’s updated Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader was quietly announced soon after the release of the iPad Pro – and whilst the box looks almost identical to the original – this now offers USB 3.0 speeds for iPad Pro users and backwards USB 2.0 compatibility for all other iOS devices. But how does it perform?

In this Apple Lightning SD Card Camera Reader USB 3 Review for iPad Pro, we give you benchmark comparisons with the older version importing both 4k DSLR footage and RAW photos, but first…

How do you know if you are buying the Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader with USB 3.0?

Apple Lightning SD Card Camera Reader USB 3 Review 1

The boxes almost look identical, but if you look at the base of the box you will see USB 3 (top) in brackets if you are indeed looking at the newest version. If it doesn’t say USB 3 (bottom), you are looking at old stock and should avoid.

Apple Lightning SD Card Camera Reader USB 3 Review: 4k Video Import Test

The first test I conducted was to see how long it would take to import 25gb of 4k Panasonic GH4 footage onto the iPad Pro using the latest Lightning SD Card Camera Reader with USB 3.0 VS how long it would take on the iPhone 6s Plus using the older SD Card Camera Reader that only supports USB 2.0 speeds.

The results were startling!:

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The iPad Pro took just 8mins and 32 seconds.
The iPhone 6s Plus took 22mins and 50 seconds!

Apple Lightning SD Card Camera Reader USB 3 Review: RAW Photo Import Test

Next up I wanted to test the difference in speeds importing 200 RAW photos shot on my Panasonic GX8 DSLR. Each photo was 25mb in size and in total was about 5gb in size. This time I used each of the Apple Lightning SD Card Camera Readers on the iPad Pro:

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The USB 3 SD Card Reader took just 2 minutes.

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The older USB 2 SD Card Reader took 10 minutes and 26 seconds!

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Eliot Fitzroy
Eliot Fitzroy is the content manager and co-founder of Epic Tutorials — the best online resource for iPhone and iPad app and accessory reviews and tutorials for iOS filmmakers, musicians, and creatives.

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